On your next visit to BAPL Coolidge in Bethlehem Township, be sure to note the addition of four beautifully illustrated panels in the children’s area. Artist Ursula Genthner loved children, literature, and painting, and for years her artwork graced the rooms of the Moravian Book Shop where she sold many of her pieces. When the store fell under new management, she requested the panels be donated to the Bethlehem Area Public Library, in memory of both her beloved husband Daniel Genthner and son Timothy Genthner. She was thrilled to learn that her artwork would become part of the new Township location, and she was eager to see them unveiled during the library’s grand opening celebration last summer. But it was not to be. On the day of the Coolidge ribbon-cutting, Ursula succumbed to a massive stroke and peacefully passed a few days later.
Her daughter-in-law, Peggy Genthner (wife of Timothy) has been instrumental in helping keep Ursula’s legacy alive. When Peggy visited the Coolidge library recently, she shared many wonderful stories of Ursula and the Genthner family. Ursula lived most of her life in Williams Township, where she delighted in her herb, vegetable and flower gardens, rehabilitating wild animals from owls to raccoons, and creating original paintings on wood panels and furniture. In fact, the four panels in the library feature original words of poetry along with sweet renderings of children reading amidst Pennsylvania flora and fauna. She sold her work locally, and many pieces found their way to Europe as well.
The library is honored to share Ursula Genthner’s lovely artwork with our community.